Gary Stout said Thursday that it is okay to use informal language, but there is a time and place.

Stout, the associate vice president for Student Affairs at Career Services, led a 15-minute workshop on formal and informal language at the West Library.

“Situational code-switching is a method of talking to different people,” he said. “Everyone uses situational code-switching. It is actually a sign of intelligence.”

Stout explained that situational code-switching is when someone uses colloquial language with friends and proper language with a boss and co-worker.

“It is something that everyone struggles with, because until you are told you shouldn’t speak a certain way, how do you know,” Stout said.

Freshman Cassey Moseley, who attended the workshop, felt that the presentation was helpful in learning how to professionally speak to others.

“I got to learn how to officially communicate in an email,” she said.

Moseley said the presentation was helpful in differentiating between acceptable terminology in a professional environment, and unacceptable terminology.

Stout further explained that situational code-switching in spoken language can demonstrate social competency, affirm one’s sense of identity or membership in a community, and show higher intellectual ability.

Freshman Cameron Gregg, who also attended the workshop, felt that the workshop was interesting and presented a lot of information about the dos and don’ts of communication in the workplace.

“I learned how we should communicate if we want to get a career,” he said. “You need to be more professional manner than you would in a text message.”